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Injury time equaliser denies Royals' win

Kermorgant's first of the season cancelled out by injury time Pinnock leveller

30 December 2017

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Yann Kermorgant looked to have handed the Royals victory at Oakwell until an injury time leveller from Ethan Pinnock earned the Tykes a point from a scrappy affair in Barnsley.

  • Swift, McCleary and Gunter test Tykes keeper in scrappy first half at a windy Oakwell.
  • Kermorgant breaks the deadlock by heading home Blackett's cross on 67 minutes.
  • Pinnock heads home an injury time equaliser after Isgrove's cross from the right.
  • Gunter clears off his goalline deep into added time to earn Royals a point.

Jaap Stam made four changes to the side that lost at Ashton Gate on Boxing Day, bringing in Tyler Blackett, Garath McCleary, John Swift and Yann Kermmorgant to start against the Tykes.

Reading began by playing the ball to feet well, keeping all the possession and after six minutes they earned the first shooting opportunity - from an unlikely source. Edwards and Kermorgant combined to play in Gunter who had scurried into the box and he battled past his marker to arrow a right-footed shot into the near post where Davies parried it behind for a corner kick.

The hosts earned their first glimpse of goal via a jinking run from Adam Hammill down the right side and he dinked a cross into the middle only to find the head of McShane who nodded the ball clear of danger.

Swift very nearly threaded a lovely ball into the run of Barrow with a quarter of an hour played, but Ethan Pinnock came across to see the ball out for a corner. But from that corner, Barnsley broke and Gary Gardner tried a clever lob over Mannone that landed on the roof ogf the net without troubling the Royals stopper.

McCleary got a chance to twice cross into the box from the right but Kermorgant's flying header couldn't connect with the first and the hme side cleared the second without too much problem, breaking again at pace but this time Liam Moore positioned well to halt the counter attack before it gathered momentum.

Mamadou Thiam raced clear in behind a Reading back line looking for offside soon after but Mannone raced off his line to put the forward off his stride and the ball was tied behind for a goal kick. 

Harvey Barnes headed a difficult chance wide at one end, then Barrow's deflected effort looped over Davies and onto the roof of the Barnsley net at the other, while Thiam dragged a left-footed effort wide from the edge of the box after a direct ball caught in the swirling wind had fallen at his feet.

Thiam then got another chance to shoot, directing a low near post cross from Yiadom into the side netting. And a cross from the right which whistled through the difficult conditions nearly found Barnes at the back post, but Gunter did enough to see it behind for a goal kick.

A low Barrow cross into the box was conterolled by Edwards, but he laid the ball off for Swift whose shot was easily gathered in by Davies.

And with five minutes of the first half remaining, McCleary recycled a cleared Swift free-kick and drilled low at goal from 25 yards out, forcing Davies into a relatively comfortable save. And that was the last action of a scrappy opening forty-five.

Half time | Barnsley 0-0 Reading

Reading began brightly after the break and Gunter tested Davies' handling early on with a lefty-footed effort after Barrow's pull back had broken to him on the edge of the box.

But at the other end it took a good block from Moore to charged down a Bradshaw effort and Mannone had to gobble up a Thiam strike at the second attempt.

Ten minutes of the second half gone and Van den Berg's early ball from the back so nearly found the run of Barrow, but Davies was off his line to intecept it. Moments later, Thiam fed Bradshaw at the other end but Mannone was down well to save his shot from a narrow angle. 

Swift arrowed over as both teams looked for the breakthrough but he was replaced by Aluko just before the hour mark. And Mannone had to dive at the feet of Bradshaw to deny Barnsley the opening goal.

The deadlock was broken with 67 minutes on the clock and it was Yann Kermorgant who headed home from cloe range for 1-0. Mannone arrowed an early goal kick into Barrow who in turn found Tyler Blackett on the left. He delivered a tantalising cross from the flank and Kermorgant nodded home at the back post for his first goal of the season.

Paul Heckingbottom's side responded with a triple substitution and a spell of pressure which saw Mannone tip a Zeki Fryers strike over the crossbar with ten minutes remaining.

Kermorgant was back in his own box to clear a dangerous inswinging corner with four minutes remaining as the Royals looked to hold onto their slender lead. And yet they nearly had a second when Barrow crossed low into the box and Blackett slipped as he aimed a left-footed hook at goal and the ball sliced wide.

And yet the hosts levelled as the game ticked into injury time. Isgrove found the space to cross from thew right and Pinnock rose to power a header past Mannone from eight yards out.

It took a goalline clearance from Gunter to deny Ugbo a winner when he got between Moore and Mannone to direct a last gasp header towards the Royals goal. And with the last kick of the game, Bodvarssonn scuffed a left-footed effort that seemed to bobble onto a Barnsley hand inside the box - but the referee blew for full time seconds later and the spoils would be shared.

Full time | Barnsley 1-1 Reading

Barnsley: Davies (c), Fryers, Lindsay, Pinnock, Yiadom (McCarthy 70), Williams, Hammill, Barnes (Isgrove 70), Gardner, Bradshaw, Thiam (Ugbo 70).
Subs: Townsend, Mallan, Potts, Bird.
Goals: Pinnock 90

Reading: Mannone, Gunter, Blackett, McShane (c), Moore, Van den Berg (Evans 61), Edwards, Swift (Aluko 59), McCleary (Bodvarsson 81), Barrow, Kermorgant.
Subs: Jaakkola, Richards, Ilori, Evans, Clement.
Yellow: Aluko
Goals: Kermorgant 67

Referee: Mr S Hooper 
Att: 11,145 (424 away)

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